A Life Update

No oneI haven’t really written a life update recently.  I notice my blogs seem to be almost more formal sometimes.  I think I need to get back to the blogs where I just ramble…they are much more fun to write (and I’m sure to read!)

There has been a lot going on the last couple of weeks.  The two most significant things revolve around my job and my confidence in myself.  So, let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s start with the meaty stuff – my confidence!  Over the last few weeks I’ve really been thinking a lot about how I feel about myself—what I look like, my personality, what I believe, and how other people see me.  There were a couple of occasions over the last few weeks where I was put into the awkward position of having to face some not-so-nice comments hurled in my direction in regards to my weight.  I’m not going to go into specifics, other than to say that my feelings were hurt, as they easily are.  I’m a pretty sensitive person, but that doesn’t justify having to endure hurtful comments.

As I said, this happened a couple of times over the last few weeks.  The first time I was just hurt and sad.  It’s hard when the people you think are on your side show their true colours.  Remember when I wrote about the guy on the street who mooed at me?  That was nothing compared to this.  The second time hurt even more, but it led to me having an a-ha moment about myself. It’s a moment I wished I’d had so long ago, but one that I’m glad finally penetrated my thick skull.

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of me.  It only matters what I think of me.

The truth is I am a beautiful girl.  I’m smart, I’m caring, I’m funny, and I’m good friend.  I’m also overweight, but that isn’t a character flaw.  It’s just a fact.  And I’m tired of some people acting like if I’m not thin I couldn’t possibly amount to anything.  The unfortunate part is that for the longest time I bought into it.  That because I’m fat, I’m somehow less than everyone else.  I’m just sorry it took me most of my adult life for that to sink in – despite friends trying to convince me otherwise.  I guess sometimes you just have to come to these realizations on your own and in your own time.

The other significant, although less meaty item is that I am officially a telecommuter!  I am now working from home five days a week.  Same job, just no commute (unless you count the stumble from the bedroom to my desk each morning).  I have to say, I was somewhat apprehensive about working from home on a permanent, full-time basis, and I guess maybe I kind of still am.  I definitely need to get myself into some kind of routine.  When I first found out I was going to be working from home full-time, all I could think about were the negative aspects—by myself, all day, lonely, putting in longer hours because I wouldn’t have to commute—but upon further reflection I think I have a really amazing opportunity here.  This could be the opportunity to really get a leg up on taking care of me and putting myself first.  I can definitely make time for exercise everyday.  I can make myself healthy meals and not worry about eating out in food courts at lunch or having to drag a lunch with me to work. The possibilities are endless.  This is going to be a great!!

One last little update for you—my back and left leg are finally starting to feel better.  After a few weeks of physiotherapy and some very painful acupuncture treatments, things are finally starting to look up.  Walking long distances can still be difficult, and I do have to deal with daily leg pain from my sciatic nerve, but I’m optimistic that with further physiotherapy soon I’ll be as good as new!

Ciao for now friends!

 

Injury Update and Back to Blogging

Hi friends!  Sorry I’ve been such an absentee blogger lately, but truthfully other than lying around and  bellyaching over my back injury, I haven’t been doing very much.  If you’re just joining our program, allow me to catch you up.

At the end of July, through complete fault of my own, I managed to pull the muscles in my lower back.  While I was doing laundry one Sunday afternoon I reached back to grab my laundry cart, twisted the wrong way, and proceeded to belt out a string on obscenities that would make Denis Leary blush.  After a lot of intense pain, doctors appointments, and an emergency room visit, I basically spent the better part of the last four weeks in a drug induced haze trying to numb the pain and heal.

While my lower back muscles have finally healed, I am still suffering from nerve pain in my left leg, which has been diagnosed as a bulging disk.  The disks in your spine act as cushions between your vertebrae.  A bulging disk means that the disk is extending outside of the space it normally would.  That “bulge” is pressing on my sciatic nerve, causing pain in my left leg from my hip to my ankle.

While I am still in pain, the pain is not nearly as bad as it was earlier on.  I’m off the hard drugs now, I’m walking (sometimes with the assistance of a cane—it depends on how far I have to go), and I’m back at work (part-time working from home, part-time working in the office).  I’ve just started physiotherapy, which I’ll blog about a little, and on Wednesday I’m going to try acupuncture for the first time, which I’ll blog about as well.  I’m equal parts nervous and excited about the acupuncture, and really just interested to see what kind of results I get.  Hey, at this point, I’ve got nothing to lose!

Needless to say, not much has been going on in the way of healthy living.  It’s hard to want to eat healthy when all you want is comfort and when you can barely walk, let alone exercise, it’s pretty frustrating.  Too much take out and comfort food has definitely been my downfall.  I was beating myself up about it for a while there, but in the end I found it wasn’t doing much good.  It only added to the stress of being injured and making me more angry at myself.  To say I’ve been harbouring a bit of anger is probably an understatement.  I thought coming back to blogging would help me work through some of that anger and help get me back up off the mat.  I may have been knocked down, but I’m not out.

Happy Labour Day everyone…here’s to the start of September, and a fabulous fall season (I love autumn, I’m so excited!!).

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Obsessions

What’s happening my friends?  Everyone enjoying the summer?  It’s cooled off a bit here in
Southern Ontario and the weatYou're My Obsessionher has been lovely, though I’m sure those hot and humid temperatures are just waiting to make an appearance yet again.

I had an idea to start sharing some of the things I’ve been loving lately…or more like obsessing over 😉  There is a little bit of everything mixed in here; maybe you’ll find something new to obsessive over!

Music

Ah music…I would be lost without it!  I love listening to music when I work out; the right song can really pump me up and help me push harder.  Amazing how music can do that, isn’t it?  Here are a few songs I’ve been loving recently:

  • Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz) by Jason Derulo — I love the beat of this song, it’s pumped up yet sexy at the same time.
  • Raise Your Glass by P!nk — This song is rockin’ and makes me want to break out and dance whenever I hear it, perfect for a workout.
  • All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor — I am obsessed with this song! Especially the part that goes “My mama she told me don’t worry about your size, she says boys like a little more booty to hold at night”. Love love love!

Blogs

One thing you may not know about me is that I have a small-obsession with make-up.  I don’t paint myself up like a Barbie doll on a regular basis or anything (I much prefer the natural look) but I do love trying new products and playing around with new techniques.  I regularly watch YouTube beauty gurus to learn about new products and tips I can add to my repertoire.  Right now I’m loving Claire Marshall at Hey Claire.  Claire is a beauty vlogger/blogger from Los Angeles, California and I’m just in love with her videos.  Each one is like a little art project in itself and she takes the time to make what could be a boring video about lipstick into a total dance party.  She covers everything from makeup and hair to fashion, and even vlogs about her daily life in LA living with her cat Bruce Lee.  Definitely check her out.

Tech Stuff

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this but a couple of months ago I bought a Fitbit.  A Fitbit is a digital tracker that logs everything from how many steps you take per day to how much sleep you get per night (depending on the style of Fitbit you purchase).  I purchased the Fitbit Flex, which is a tracker you wear around your wrist.  I love my Fitbit!  It lets me see how many steps I’m taking each day, with my goal set for 10,000 steps per day.  When I reach 10,000 it vibrates and the little lights flash at me letting me know I’ve hit my goal.  The one thing that I’ve really loved on my Fitbit is the sleep tracker.  When I wear my Fitbit to bed and put it into sleep mode it tracks everything that happens at night—how many hours and minutes I sleep, how many times I was restless, how many times I woke up and for how long.  It’s amazing.  For someone who doesn’t sleep well, it’s been a real eye opener to see how much sleep I actually DON’T get.

That’s all for today my friends…have yourselves a lovely rest of the week!

 

28-day Challenge – Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done

Welcome to the end my friends. Yesterday marked the last day of the

Prevention 28-day Transformation Challenge, and although I don’t know that I would consider myself “transformed”, I definitely feel like I took some major steps in the right direction when it comes to my health.

I think the most interesting part of this challenge was that even though I wasn’t counting calories or fat grams or any other nutrient, I still managed to lose weight. Being conscious about what and how much I put in my body was enough to make me understand that eating 1500 calories a day is all well and good, but if it’s 1500 calories of Pepsi and Cheetos, it’s not going to make any difference in your health. Food is fuel. Grilled chicken and a salad will keep you going all day, Cheetos will probably only get you as far as the front door.

Although I had a hard time fitting in all my workouts during the challenge, I was working out more than I had before. I definitely need to make exercise a priority because I do feel great after I work out. I even tried yoga a couple of times while on the challenge and although I’m not great at it, I think I’m going to keep trying (as long as I don’t have to do it in public 😛 )

As I mentioned in previous blogs, although I started out strong, I kind of fizzled in the last two weeks of the challenge. I had a hard time balancing healthy living with being busy, and I think it’s something I’m always going to struggle with. I definitely think preparation is the key thing here and remembering that I need to put myself first, otherwise I’ll burn myself out. And no one wants that. 🙂

I had my last weigh in yesterday and in total I lost 7 lb over the 28 days. Not to shabby if I do say so myself. I had lost eight after Week 2, but then gained back pound in Week 3. For Week 4 I stayed exactly the same.

So now what do I do? Good question!! I carry on, try new foods, try new workouts, and hopefully continue to keep all of you entertained and with my blogs.  Blogging every day is HARD, which is why I think I wasn’t blogging so much towards the end.  I just ran out of things to say (hard to believe, but true).

One last thing I’d like to mention—yesterday the world lost an amazing person with Maya Angelou’s passing.  Her words have inspired so many people, but there is one particular quote of hers that always makes me want to go out there and take on the world:

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

Off I go to kick some ass…

28-day Challenge Who Knows What Day I’m On!

Oy!  I’ve been a very bad blogger the last few (actually more like seven) days—not writing, indulging way to much, and working out way too little.  The good news is that it’s Monday, and everyone always has a chance to redeem themselves on a Monday—start the week off on the right foot and get that momentum back!

I’m not sure how I let myself get off track on the 28-day Challenge.  One bad eating day turned into two, and two turned into four, and well you know how it goes.  But, we’re not going to dwell on that.  The fact is I don’t want to give up.  I don’t look at it as starting over, I just look at it as continuing the process.  I’m always going to have some good days and bad days, but we get over it and we move on!

I have three days left in the challenge and I’ll try to end things on a high note:

  • Food prep for the week complete – check
  • Workouts scheduled for the week – check
  • “Me time” scheduled – check.

The next four weeks are going to be very hectic for me.  I’m covering for a co-worker who is on vacation for the next month plus I have school.  I think it’s important that I schedule my life for the four weeks so I can stay on top of everything, including my eating and my workouts.  You’ll see I scheduled some “me time” in there as well so I don’t go crazy and burn myself out, which I sometimes have a tendency to so.  I know what I’m like when I’m super busy so I’m taking steps ahead of time to mitigate any stressful disasters.

The one exciting thing I did this past week was invest in a Fitbit.  A Fitbit is a wireless health tracker.  I bought the Fitbit Flex, which you wear around your wrist and looks like this:

Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Flex tracks how many steps I take, calories I burn, and distance I go.  If I wear it to bed it will even monitor my sleep and wake me in the morning with a light vibration on my wrist.  You can set goals and it will tell you how close you are to reaching your goal for the day keeping you motivated to keep going.  It syncs up with an app on my iPad and my laptop (wirelessly!) so I can check on my progress anytime.  I’m really excited to get started with my Fitbit and I have it all charged up for Monday.  A full charge lasts for five days so I can wear it day or night without worry that it’s going to run out of power.  I’ll use it for a little while and then post a full review on the blog in a few weeks.

So there is my long overdue update!  I didn’t lose any weight last week (in fact I gained a pound 😦 ) but hey, I’ll just have to work harder this week.  I’m still further ahead then I was when I started!

28-day Challenge Day 1

Day 1 – stick a fork in it, it’s done!

Yesterday was actually an excellent day.  My eating was on track and I didn’t feel deprived at all.  I think I was too busy to be deprived come to think of it.  It was a busy work day and I had an appointment in the afternoon, so between work and running around I didn’t have time to think about noshing on something I shouldn’t be.  I ended up working through my lunch, but it was pretty yummy so I won’t complain at all.

Enjoying my turkey salad while I work!  Busy, busy!!

Enjoying my turkey taco salad while I work! Busy, busy!!

The only thing I really need to do is increase my water intake.  My water bottle is sitting on my desk still half full from yesterday afternoon.  Not good.  So I definitely need to be conscious of that.

In terms of exercise, I did do any full on routines yesterday.  I did, however, have to hoof it to the bus I was about to miss, so I’m counting that as at least a little cardio today. 😉   I’m going to do my first strength training workout tomorrow morning and I’ll follow that up with a walk in the evening.

All in all, Day 1 was a good one.  I did what I said I was going to do and I showed up.  I’m pretty proud of myself for that.  Now I just have to keep that momentum going.

Tell me friends, how was your day?  Leave a comment below and let me know how your first day of the challenge went.  If you haven’t signed up yet it’s not too late…head on over to Prevention.com and join the challenge!

On to Day 2!!

Feel Good Day

Today was a good day—dare I say a great day. On the days when I do everything I’m supposed to do, all is right with the world—I feel like a million bucks, full of happiness and confidhappy faceence. What did I do to make this a great day you may be asking yourself?   (If you’re not, too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway).

  • I ate a healthy breakfast
  • I drank plenty of water
  • I ate a healthy lunch
  • I resisted temptation when my office mate sat in front of me eating the pastries he got from the office kitchen
  • I didn’t lunge across the table at him as he ate (personal victory right there)
  • I ate healthy snacks
  • I walked to and from the train station to get to work
  • I ate a healthy dinner
  • I packed my lunch for the next day

Not bad if I do say so myself. I woke up this morning with a new attitude, determined to start making food and exercise work for me rather than work against me. What is with this change in attitude you may be asking yourself? (If you’re not, too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway).

I turned 39 last week.

That’s right friends, 39. Not young enough to get carded at the liquor store, not old enough to qualify for my old age pension. The only highlight about turning 39 is that it’s almost 40. That was the single most popular comment I received all week when anyone found out it was my 39th birthday. “Ohhh, one more year!!” people would cackle with delight, like I wasn’t already aware there was a neon sign hanging around my neck that said “ONE MORE YEAR UNTIL 40”.

In addition to turning 39, the month of March was also my one year blog-aversary. Yes friends, I’ve been blogging here at Victoriously for one whole year. Hard to believe isn’t it? Where does the time go?

In thinking about these two events I looked back over the blog and came to this conclusion:

I am no further ahead than I was one year ago, and I don’t want to be that far behind when I turn 40.

There is no question that I struggled this year. I tried, I failed, I tried again, I failed again, and again, and again. BUT I haven’t given up. So in actuality I tried, I stumbled, I tried again, I stumbled again, and again, and again. But I got back up and I’m going to keep going. No matter how many times I stumble.

I have a renewed dedication to losing weight and I have a renewed dedication to writing this blog. I want to move forward, learn more about what I need to do to live a healthy life, create that life, and inspire others to do the same.

So on this Monday I wish you all a Happy Feel Good Day (which I just invented) and I hope you all have many feel good days of your own.

Two Steps Forward One Step Back

I like to get things going.  I love making plans and starting off on the right foot.  I’m an idea girl!!  Grand plans trickle from my brain—

“I’m going to walk 5 km every day this week, and I’m going to paint the whole apartment in three days, and I’m going to go back to school…and then, and then….”

Sometimes I have a hard time with the execution part.  OK, a lot of the time.

I can be a bit of a procrastinator (as evidenced by my failed attempt at blogging for Blogtember), and sometimes what sounded good in my head two days ago, now sounds crazy.  I don’t exactly know what happens in those two days, but somehow my brain wakes up and says “Forget it!!”  Sometimes I seriously wonder if I have some mild form of attention deficit disorder.  Focus Victoria, FOCUS!

Other times though I feel like life is somehow conspiring against me.  This week for example—I wrote a great post on Sunday about not giving up and read some great comments from people who were so amazingly supportive.  I was charged up and ready to go!!  On Monday I followed my eating plan, drank plenty of water, and went for a nice long walk with my Dad.  Way to start the week off right!  Monday evening before I went to bed I felt a little off.  Kind of tired and a little achy, and my throat was scratchy.  Fast forward eight hours and I’m waking up to a sore throat, stiff body and I can barely will myself out of bed.  I’m sick!!!  By end of day Tuesday I had an ear infection and a fever.  Why is it that just when I get myself moving forward I get pushed back down!

We’re now at Thursday and I’m still feeling pretty rough, though better than I was earlier in the week.  I’m going to get back to my walking this weekend and enjoy this gorgeous fall weather we have been having in Southern Ontario!  Beautiful sunny, crisp fall days…I can’t stand missing any more of them.  I can’t let a little sickness slow me down.

Things are pretty busy in my world right now…work is off the charts crazy, I’ve just started Blog School (learning everything I need to about the big, wide world of blogging), working on my writing, and trying to make myself a priority all at the same time.  FOCUS!! 🙂

Blogtember – You Better Shop Around

The Blogtember prompt for today is to talk about my favourite online shops.Blogtember200_zps4672ae9b

Um, yeah…I’m not really much of a shopper, so this is going to be an incredibly short blog.  I was actually going to skip this day, just because I don’t have very much to say on the subject.  However, I suppose the mark of a good writer is being creative even when the topic isn’t to his or her liking.  So here goes…

I’m not type of person who enjoys going to malls to wander and shop around just for the hell of it, and the same goes for online shopping.  If I need pants, I go buy pants.  If I need shampoo, I go buy shampoo.  Get it and get out, that’s my motto. 🙂

The only items I will typically browse for are books, music, and makeup.  So I spend time on kobobooks.com, iTunes, and in Sephora.

I’m a bit of a book junkie and I probably spend more time than I think I do browsing kobobooks.com.  I do spend a lot of time on goodreads.com, which is a fantastic site devoted to all things books!  It’s like Facebook for book lovers.  If you’re ever looking for book reviews and recommendations, I highly recommend it.

I am also a bit of a make up junkie.  Well not just make up, but beauty products in general.  I’ve definitely reigned myself in; I’m not as bad as I used to be.  However if you ask me where my happy place is I will say without hesitation Sephora.   Ohhhh and definitely the Sephora at the Eaton Centre in Toronto!!  They just renovated, added in a couple of brands of make up from the UK that I love, it’s big and beautiful, and…..sorry, sorry….calm down…deep breath.  Woo!  I told you…happy place.  So there you go, if you’re ever looking for me you know where I am.

Night all!  Going to go put on some lipstick and curl up with a good book 😉

Blogtember – My Turning Point

Ok, so I didn’t blog yesterday and now I’m five posts behind for Blogtember.  I’ve been down before…don’t count me out just yet. 😉Blogtember200_zps4672ae9b

Today’s post is describing a distinct moment when my life took a turn.

I like to think of a turning point as that moment—that grand, cosmic flash, when suddenly everything you think you know is turned upside down.  You can’t go back, the only thing you can do is move forward.

Once upon a time, many moons ago (don’t ask how many), I was a bright-eyed 25-year-old working full-time.  It was my second, real adult, full-time job.  I had previously been working the night shift and I finally got an opportunity to get a real 9 to 5 job with the land of the living.  It was a busy office, with a high volume of work, and a lot of pressure.  I worked hard, was eager to please, and was actually pretty good at my job.

There is a cost to everything in life.  The cost of being good at your job means you get more work.  People come to you because they know you can handle it and you’ll get it done right.  So pile it on they did.  Add to the fact that I worked for someone who was a newly minted VP, out to prove they could take on the world not caring who the casualties were along the way.

I started to become extremely stressed out.  I worked long hours trying to keep up, and no amount of talking to my boss about my work load helped.  I was headed for a breakdown, which of course was unavoidable…it was a collision waiting to happen.  I ended up taking two weeks of vacation to try to relax and pull myself together.  I had originally only scheduled to take one week, but after the week was up I was so scared of going back I called my boss and begged for another week.  I returned to work after two weeks a little calmer and more relaxed, but it didn’t stick.  Just a week back in the office and I was right back where I started.

Between all the long hours and the stress I was under, I barely had any time to look for another job.  I just felt trapped.  Shortly after going back to work, I was talking to my dad on the phone, explaining to him how things were still the same and I didn’t know what to do.

“If it’s really that bad, then why don’t you just quit,” he said.  “It’s not worth it for you to be so stressed and upset all the time.  You’re a smart girl, you’re good at your job.  You’ll figure it out and find something else”.

FLASH!

I couldn’t quit…could I?  What would I do for money?  What if I didn’t find something right away?  What if, what if, what if???

Remember earlier when I said you can’t look back, you can only go forward?  It’s true.  I could only go forward.  I could quit.  So, I did.

The next morning I went into my boss’ office and handed in my resignation.  It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.  The sun was shining, bird were singing, and for the first time in a long time I felt good.  I was scared to death, but it felt good.

I was out of work for three months.  After I couldn’t find a full-time job, I started a temporary job at a government office.  It was originally a three-month contract and I ended up staying there for a year.  It is to this day one of the best places I ever worked.  I worked with such great people and I learned so much.  It also gave me contacts that led me to my next full-time position right after that contract ended.  If I had stayed where I was, miserable, who knows what would have become of me.  Instead I took a chance and it paid off.  Big time.